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Sheffield ( ) is a city and metropolitan borough of South Yorkshiremarker, Englandmarker. Its name derives from the River Sheafmarker, which runs through the city. Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, the city has grown from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base. The population of the City of Sheffield is ( ), but the wider Sheffield Urban Areamarker, which extends beyond the city proper, had a population of 640,720 as of the 2001 census. Sheffield is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the English Core Cities Group

During the 19th century, Sheffield gained an international reputation for its steel production. Many innovations were developed locally, including crucible and stainless steel, fuelling an almost tenfold increase in the population during the Industrial Revolution. Sheffield received its municipal charter in 1893, when it officially became the City of Sheffield. International competition in iron and steel caused a decline in traditional local industries during the 1970s and 1980s, coinciding with the collapse of coal mining in the area.

The 21st century has seen extensive redevelopment in Sheffield and in other British cities. Sheffield's GVA (gross value added) has increased by 60% in recent years, standing at £8.7 billion in 2006. The economy has experienced steady growth averaging around 5% annually, greater than that of the broader region of Yorkshire and the Humber.

The City of Sheffield is near the confluence of five rivers, and much of it is built on hillsides with views either into the city centre or out onto the countryside. Sheffield has more trees per person than any other city in Europe, estimated at more than two million; 61% of the city is green space.


The area now occupied by the City of Sheffield has been inhabited since at least the late Upper Palaeolithic period, about 12,800 years ago. The settlements that grew and merged to form Sheffield, however, date from the second half of the 1st millennium, and are of Anglo-Saxon and Danishmarker origin. In Anglo-Saxon times the Sheffield area straddled the border between the kingdoms of Merciamarker and Northumbriamarker. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports that King Eanred of Northumbriamarker submitted to King Egbert of Wessexmarker at the hamlet of Doremarker (now a suburb of Sheffield) in 829. This event made Egbert the first Saxon to claim to be king of all England. After the Norman conquest, Sheffield Castlemarker was built to protect the local settlements, and a small town developed that is the nucleus of the modern city.

By 1296, a market had been established at what is now known as Castle Square, and Sheffield subsequently grew into a small market town. In the 14th century Sheffield was already noted for the production of knives, as mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and by the early 1600s it had become the main centre of cutlery manufacture in England outside of London, overseen by the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. From 1570 to 1584 Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned in Sheffield Castle and Sheffield Manormarker.

During the 1740s, a form of the crucible steel process was discovered that allowed the manufacture of a better quality of steel than had previously been possible. In about the same period, a technique was developed for fusing a thin sheet of silver onto a copper ingot to produce silver plating, which became widely known as Sheffield plate. These innovations spurred Sheffield's growth as an industrial town, but the loss of some important export markets led to a recession in the late 18th and early 19th century. The resulting poor conditions culminated in a cholera epidemic that killed 402 people in 1832. The population of the town grew rapidly throughout the 19th century; increasing from 60,095 in 1801 to 451,195 by 1901. The town was incorporated as a borough in 1842 and was granted a city charter in 1893. The influx of people also led to demand for better water supplies, and a number of new reservoirs were constructed on the outskirts of the town. The collapse of the dam wall of one of these reservoirs in 1864 resulted in the Great Sheffield Floodmarker, which killed 270 people and devastated large parts of the town. The growing population led to the construction of many back-to-back dwellings that, along with severe pollution from the factories, inspired George Orwell in 1937 to write: "Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World".

A recession in the 1930s was halted by increasing international tensions as the Second World War loomed; Sheffield's steel factories were set to work manufacturing weapons and ammunition for the war effort. As a result, the city became a target for bombing raids, the heaviest of which occurred on the nights of 12 and 15 December 1940, now known as the Sheffield Blitz. More than 660 lives were lost and many buildings destroyed.

In the 1950s and 1960s, many of the city's slums were demolished, and replaced with housing schemes such as the Park Hill flatsmarker. Large parts of the city centre were also cleared to make way for a new system of roads. Increased automation and competition from abroad resulted in the closure of many steel mills. The 1980s saw the worst of this run-down of Sheffield's industries, along with those of many other areas of the UK. The building of the Meadowhall shopping centremarker on the site of a former steelworks in 1990 was a mixed blessing, creating much needed jobs but hastening the decline of the city centre. Attempts to regenerate the city were kick-started when the city hosted the 1991 World Student Games, which saw the construction of new sporting facilities such as the Sheffield Arenamarker, Don Valley Stadiummarker, and the Ponds Forgemarker complex.

Sheffield is changing rapidly as new projects regenerate some of the more run-down parts of the city. One such, the Heart of the City Project, has initiated a number of public works in the city centre: the Peace Gardensmarker were renovated in 1998, the Millennium Galleriesmarker opened in April 2001, the Winter Gardensmarker were opened in May 2003, and a public space to link these two areas, the Millennium Square, was opened in May 2006. Additional developments included the remodelling of Sheaf Squaremarker, in front of the recently refurbished railway station. The new square contains The Cutting Edge, a sculpture designed by Si Applied Ltd and made from Sheffield steel.


Sheffield is governed at the local level by Sheffield City Council. It consists of 84 councillors elected to represent 28 ward—three councillors per ward. It is currently controlled by the Liberal Democrats, who gained the council from NOC at the English Local Election 2008; the Liberal Democrats took 45 seats to Labour's 36. The Green Party took three council seats, whilst the Conservative party lost its single seat. Since the 2008 election, the leader of the council has been Paul Scriven. The city also has a Lord Mayor; though now simply a ceremonial position, in the past the office carried considerable authority, with executive powers over the finances and affairs of the city council. The current (2009/10) Lord Mayor is Graham Oxley.

For much of its history the council was controlled by the Labour Party, and was noted for its leftist sympathies; during the 1980s administration under David Blunkett, the area gained the epithet the "Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire". However, the Liberal Democrats controlled the Council between 1999 and 2001 and took control again in the May 2008 local elections.

The majority of council-owned facilities are operated by independent charitable trusts. Sheffield International Venues runs many of the city's sporting and leisure facilities, including Sheffield Arenamarker and Don Valley Stadiummarker. Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust and the Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust take care of galleries and museums owned by the council.

The city returns six Members of Parliament to the House of Commonsmarker, although this will be reduced to five at the next election as one constituency, Hillsboroughmarker, will be abolished and its area redistributed among three other constituencies.

International links

Sheffield is formally twinned with Anshanmarker in Chinamarker, Bochummarker in Germanymarker, Donetskmarker in Ukrainemarker, and Estelimarker in Nicaraguamarker. There are more informal links with Kawasaki in Japanmarker, Kitwemarker in Zambiamarker, Kotlimarker in Kashmirmarker, and Pittsburghmarker in the United Statesmarker. Sheffield has also had close links with Polandmarker, as ex-servicemen from that country who fought alongside British forces during the Second World War settled in the city.


Sheffield is located at . It lies directly beside Rotherhammarker, from which it is separated largely by the M1 motorway. Although Barnsley Metropolitan Borough also borders Sheffield to the north, the town itself is a few miles further away. The southern and western borders of the city are shared with Derbyshiremarker; in the first half of the 20th century Sheffield extended its borders south into Derbyshire, annexing a number of villages, including Totleymarker, Doremarker and the area now known as Mosboroughmarker Townships. Directly to the west of the city is the Peak District National Parkmarker and the Pennine hill range.

Sheffield is a geographically diverse city. The city nestles in a natural amphitheatre created by several hills and the confluence of five rivers: Don, Sheafmarker, Rivelinmarker, Loxleymarker and Portermarker. As such, much of the city is built on hillsides with views into the city centre or out to the countryside. The city's lowest point is just above sea level near Blackburn Meadows, while some parts of the city are at over ; the highest point being at High Stonesmarker, near Margery Hillmarker. However, 79% of the housing in the city is between above sea level.

Panorama from Meersbrook Park
Estimated to contain over two million trees, Sheffield has more trees per person than any other city in Europe. It has over 170 woodlands (covering ), 78 public parks (covering ) and 10 public gardens. Added to the of national park and of water this means that 61% of the city is greenspace. Despite this, about 64% of Sheffield householders live further than from their nearest greenspace, although access is better in less affluent neighbourhoods across the city.

Sheffield also has a very wide variety of habitat, comparing favourably with any city in the United Kingdom: urban, parkland and woodland, agricultural and arable land, moors, meadows and freshwater-based habitats. There are six areas within the city that are designated as sites of special scientific interest.

The present city boundaries were set in 1974 (with slight modification in 1994), when the former county borough of Sheffield merged with Stocksbridgemarker Urban District and two parishes from the Wortley Rural Districtmarker. This area includes a significant part of the countryside surrounding the main urban region. Roughly a third of Sheffield lies in the Peak District National Parkmarker (no other English city includes parts of a national park within its boundary), and, according to Sheffield City Council, it is England's greenest city, a claim that was reinforced when it won the 2005 Entente Florale competition.


West to east sloping land, crossed by a number of eastwards-draining rivers (including the Tyne, Wear and Tees) characterizes the land in the northeastern quadrant of England. Further south, the River Ouse crosses the Vale of York, with tributaries such as the Wharfemarker, Airemarker, Niddmarker and Don originating in the Pennines, a chain of rolling gritstone moors rising to well over and reaching their highest point at Cross Fell ( ). The Pennines form a natural barrier to east–west communications, but the Tyne gap links Carlislemarker and Newcastle upon Tynemarker and the Aire gap links Lancashire and Yorkshire. The other significant area of high ground is the North York Moorsmarker, rising to over .

The area's western and eastern boundaries influence its climate. The Pennines' high altitude creates an environment that is frequently cool, gloomy and wet, but the Pennines also cast a "rain shadow" across the area caused by the shelter they provide from the prevailing westerly winds. Rainfall varies from approximately to per month, with December usually having the highest rainfall and July, the lowest.

Mean annual temperatures depend on altitude and, to some extent, proximity to the coast. The coldest waters around the UK are found off NE England with sea surface temperatures varying from about in winter to in summer (compared to a range of off SW England). Temperature shows both a seasonal and a diurnal variation. January is usually the coldest month, with mean daily minimum temperatures varying from below over the highest ground to about along the coast and in South Yorkshire. Minimum temperatures usually occur around sunrise and extreme minima have been recorded in winter, often in January or February. The late autumn / early winter minimum tends to exhibit more extreme differentials between maximum and minimum, with the lowest variation dropping precipitously from November to December. The extremes can be between minus 10–15 °C in January and February, and the extreme winter maximum at in the same months. In the winter months (December–March), Sheffield has 67 days of ground frost.

July and August are the warmest months, with mean daily maximum temperatures ranging from about in South Yorkshire to less than in the higher Pennines. Maximum temperatures are normally 2 or 3 hours after midday. Extreme maximum temperatures can occur in July or August, but are less common in NE England than areas further south. However, one example was the August 1990 heat wave, when temperatures of occurred widely.

Carbon footprint and climate change action

In collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute, Sheffield developed a carbon footprint (based on 2004/05 consumption figures) of 5,798,361 tonnes per year. This compares to the UK's total carbon footprint of 698,568,010 tonnes per year. The factors with the greatest impact are housing (34%), transportation (25%), consumer (11%), private services (9%), public services (8%), food (8%), and capital investment (5%).

The Weston Weather station, established in 1882 and one of the longest running stations in Great Britain, has recorded weather for more than 125 years, and research reveals that Sheffield's climate is now changing faster than it has at any time during this period.Museums Sheffield In 2007, Museums Sheffield (formerly the Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust) began to promote "weather education" and community involvement in global climate change initiatives through its Whatever the Weather community programme—a collaboration between the trust, the Museum of Croydonmarker and Tyne and Wear Museums. From April to August 2007, a Whatever the Weather exhibition displayed at Weston Park Museummarker. Through a combination of educational events, community town meetings, and a smaller version of the exhibit that toured community festivals, the Whatever the Weather programme developed and promoted a variety of action awareness programs to help Sheffield residents respond to and cope with climate change. The exhibition, learning and community programs received funding from both the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) through the Climate Challenge Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The exhibition went on to show in Croydonmarker and Sunderlandmarker.


Sheffield Compared
UK Census 2001 Sheffield South Yorkshiremarker England
Total population 513,234 1,266,338 49,138,831
Foreign born 6.4% 8.9% 9.2%
White 91% 95% 91%
Asian 4.6% 2.6% 4.6%
Black 1.8% 0.9% 2.3%
Christian 69% 75% 72%
Muslim 4.6% 2.5% 3.1%
Hindu 0.3% 0.2% 1.1%
No religion 18% 14% 15%
Over 75 years old 8.0% 7.6% 7.5%
Unemployed 4.2% 4.1% 3.3%

Sheffield is made up of numerous suburbs and neighbourhoods, many of which developed from villages or hamlets that were absorbed into Sheffield as the city grew. These historical areas are largely ignored by the modern administrative and political divisions of the city; instead it is divided into 28 electoral wards, with each ward generally covering 4–6 areas. The electoral wards are grouped into six parliamentary constituencies, although this will be reduced to five at the next election as one constituency, Hillsboroughmarker, will be abolished and its area redistributed among three other constituencies. Sheffield is largely unparished, but Bradfieldmarker and Ecclesfieldmarker have parish councils, and Stocksbridgemarker has a town council.


The United Kingdom Census 2001 reported a resident population for Sheffield of 513,234, a 1.9% decline from the 1991 census. The city is part of the wider Sheffield Urban Areamarker, which had a population of 640,720. The racial composition of Sheffield's population was 91.2% White, 4.6% Asian, 1.8% Black, and 1.6% Mixed. In terms of religion, 68.6% of the population are Christian and 4.6% Muslim. Other religions represent less than 1% each. The number of people without a religion is above the national average at 17.9%, with 7.8% not stating their religion. The largest quinary group is 20- to 24-year-olds (9.4%), mainly because of the large university student population.

People from Sheffield are colloquially known to people in the surrounding towns of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham, and Chesterfield as "dee-dars", which derives from the traditional pronunciation of the "th" in the dialectal words "thee" and "thou", now extremely rare to hear. Many Yorkshire dialect words and aspects of pronunciation derive from old Norse due to the Viking influence in this region.

Population change

The population of Sheffield peaked in 1951 at 577,050, and has since declined steadily. However, the mid-2007 population estimate was 530,300—representing an increase of about 17,000 residents since 2001. The table below shows the population of Sheffield within its borders at that time.

Year 1801 1851 1901 1921 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
Population 60,095 161,475 451,195 543,336 569,884 577,050 574,915 572,794 530,844 528,708 513,234
Source: A Vision of Britain through Time

"the largest village in England"

Although a city, Sheffield is widely informally known as "the largest village in England". This nickname results from a confluence of topographical and demographic factors. It is the largest city in the U.K. that does not form the basis of a conurbation, and is relatively geographically isolated, being cut off from other places by a ring of hills. (Local folklore insists that, like Rome, Sheffield was built "on seven hills".) The land surrounding Sheffield was unsuitable for industrial use, and now includes several protected green belt areas. These have served to restrict urban spread. That topographical isolation and enclosure combines with a relatively stable population size and a low degree of mobility, yielding the "largest village in England" description.

In 1956, Hunt stated that "Modern Sheffield, a flourishing industrial city with over half a million inhabitants and a world-wide reputation, still retains many of the essential characteristics of the small market town of about five thousand people from which it has grown in the space of two and a half centuries.". A 1970 survey has supported Hunt's characterization, with more Sheffield residents able to identify a "home area" within the city than people from other large county boroughs were, and greatly more Sheffield residents expressing an unwillingness to leave their city than people from other large county boroughs did. This latter unwillingness was noted, by the survey analysis, as far more characteristic of the response that would be obtained by surveying a "a small urban or rural authority rather than a large county borough".

Sidney Pollard's analysis of the 1851 Census data caused him to describe Sheffield as "the most proletarian city in England" at the time, it having more people per 100,000 employed in manufacturing occupations (187.6 for Sheffield, as compared to 146.1 for Leeds) and fewer people per 100,000 employed in professional occupations (41 for Sheffield, as compared to 65.8 for Birmingham, and 43.1 for Leeds). He attributed this to the cutlery trade in the city, which was organized not on polarized Capital-versus-Labour lines, but as a complex network of contracts between cutlery workshops, craftsmen, and merchants, whose positive influence on community cohesion and equality lasted through the rise of the steel industry in the city later in the 19th century. Even by 1981, social polarization (as defined by the Census and Registrar-General) in Sheffield was far lower than in many other cities, with only 4.1% of the population having professional occupations, as opposed to 62.1% classified as skilled or unskilled manual labourers.


Labour profile
Total employee jobs 255,700
Full-time 168,000 65.7%
Part-time 87,700 34.3%
Manufacturing 31,800 12.4%
Construction 8,500 3.3%
Services 214,900 84.1%
Distribution, hotels & restaurants 58,800 23.0%
Transport & communications 14,200 5.5%
Finance, IT, other business activities 51,800 20.2%
Public admin, education & health 77,500 30.3%
Other services 12,700 5.0%
Tourism-related 18,400 7.2%

After many years of decline, the Sheffield economy is going through a strong revival. The 2004 Barclays Bank Financial Planning study revealed that, in 2003, the Sheffield district of Hallammarker was the highest ranking area outside London for overall wealth, the proportion of people earning over £60,000 a year standing at almost 12%. A survey by Knight Frank revealed that Sheffield was the fastest-growing city outside Londonmarker for office and residential space and rents during the second half of 2004. Some £250 million was also invested in the city during 2005.
St Paul's Tower, under construction, 2009.
This can be seen by the current surge of redevelopments, including the City Lofts Towermarker and accompanying St Paul's Placemarker, Velocity Living, and the Moormarker redevelopment, the forthcoming NRQmarker and the recently completed Winter Gardensmarker, Peace Gardensmarker, Millennium Galleriesmarker, and many projects under the Sheffield One redevelopment agency. In 2006 the Sheffield economy was worth £8.7 billion (2006 GVA).

The "UK Cities Monitor 2008" placed Sheffield among the top ten "best cities to locate a business today", the city occupying 3rd and 4th places respectively for best office location and best new call centre location. The same report places Sheffield in 3rd place regarding "greenest reputation" and 2nd in terms of the availability of financial incentives.

Sheffield has an international reputation for metallurgy and steel-making. Many innovations in these fields have been made in Sheffield, for example Benjamin Huntsman discovered the crucible technique in the 1740s at his workshop in Handsworthmarker. This process was rendered obsolete in 1856 by Henry Bessemer's invention of the Bessemer converter. Thomas Boulsover invented Sheffield Plate (silver-plated copper) in the early 18th century. Stainless steel was invented by Harry Brearley in 1912, and the work of F. B. Pickering and T. Gladman throughout the 1960s, '70s, and '80s was fundamental to the development of modern high-strength low-alloy steels. Further innovations continue, with new advanced manufacturing technologies and techniques being developed on the Advanced Manufacturing Parkmarker by Sheffield's universities and other independent research organisations. Organisations located on the AMP include the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC, a research partnership between the Boeing Company and the University of Sheffield), Castings Technology International (Cti) and TWI (The Welding Institute).

While iron and steel have long been the main industries of Sheffield, coal mining has also been a major industry, particularly in the outlying areas, and the Palace of Westminstermarker in Londonmarker was built using limestone from quarries in the nearby village of Anstonmarker. Other areas of employment include call centres, the City Council, universities and hospitals.

High Street, Central Sheffield
Sheffield is a major retail centre, and is home to many High Street and department stores as well as designer boutiques. The main shopping areas in the city centre are on The Moormarker precinct, Fargatemarker, Orchard Squaremarker and the Devonshire Quartermarker. Department stores in the city centre include John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Atkinsons, Castle House Co-op and Debenhams. Sheffield's main market is the Castle Marketmarker, built above the remains of the castle. Shopping areas outside the city centre include the Meadowhall shopping centremarker and retail park, Ecclesall Road, London Road, Hillsboroughmarker and the Crystal Peaksmarker shopping centre.

Sheffield has a District Energy system that exploits the city's domestic waste, by incineratingmarker it and converting the energy from it to electricity. It also provides hot water, which is distributed through over of pipes under the city, via two networks. These networks supply heat and hot water for many buildings throughout the city. These include not only cinemas, hospitals, shops, and offices but also universities (Sheffield Hallam Universitymarker and the University of Sheffield), and residential properties. Energy generated in a waste plant produces 60 MW of thermal energy and up to 19 MW electrical energy from 225,000 tonnes of waste.

In a 2008 survey on spending potential, Meadowhallmarker came 12th while Sheffield city centre came 28th. In a 2004 survey on the top retail destinations, Meadowhall was 20th while Sheffield was 35th.


National and international travel

Sheffield is linked into the national motorway network via the M1 and M18 motorways. The M1 skirts the north-east of the city, linking Sheffield with Londonmarker to the south and Leedsmarker to the north, and crosses Tinsley Viaductmarker near Rotherham; the M18 branches from the M1 close to Sheffield, linking the city with Doncastermarker, Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield Airportmarker, and the Humbermarker ports. The Sheffield Parkwaymarker connects the city centre with the motorways.

Major railway routes through Sheffield railway stationmarker include the Midland Main Line, which links the city to London via the East Midlands, the Cross Country Route which links the East of Scotland and Northeast of England with the West Midlands and the Southwest, and the lines linking Liverpool and Manchester with Hull and East Anglia. Train operating companies serving Sheffield are provided by East Midlands Trains, Cross Country Trains, First TransPennine Express, and Northern Rail.

Sheffield is also served by a number of coach services. National Express Coaches provides most services, using Sheffield Interchangemarker, Meadowhall Interchangemarker and Meadowhead Bus stop as pick up/drop off points. Sheffield Interchange handles most services and is the start point/terminus for a number of them.

The Sheffield and South Yorkshire Navigationmarker (S&SY) is a system of navigable inland waterways (canals and canalised rivers) in Yorkshire and Lincolnshiremarker. Chiefly based on the River Don, it runs for a length of and has 29 locks. It connects Sheffield, Rotherhammarker, and Doncastermarker with the River Trent at Keadbymarker and (via the New Junction Canalmarker) the Aire and Calder Navigationmarker.

The closest international airport to Sheffield is Doncaster Sheffield Airport, which is located from the city centre. The airport opened on 28 April 2005 and is served mainly by budget airlines. It handles about one million passengers a year. Leeds Bradford International Airportmarker and East Midlands Airport: Nottingham, Leicester, Derbymarker lie within one hour's drive of the city, and Manchester Airport is connected to Sheffield by a direct train every hour.

Local travel

The new Arundel Gate Mini Interchange
The A57 and A61 roads are the major trunk roads through Sheffield. These run east–west and north–south respectively, crossing in the city centre, from where the other major roads generally radiate spoke-like. An inner ring road, mostly constructed in the 1970s and extended in 2007 to form a complete ring, allows traffic to avoid the city centre, and an outer ring roadmarker runs to the east, south-east and north, nearer the edge of the city, but does not serve the western side of Sheffield.

Sheffield does not have as extensive a suburban and inter-urban railway network as other comparable British cities. However, there are several local rail routes running along the city's valleys and beyond, connecting it with other parts of South Yorkshiremarker, West Yorkshire, Nottinghamshiremarker, Lincolnshiremarker and Derbyshiremarker. These local routes include the Penistone Line, the Dearne Valley Line, the Hope Valley Line, and the Hallam Line. As well as the main stations of Sheffieldmarker and Meadowhallmarker, there are four suburban stations, at Chapeltownmarker, Darnallmarker, Woodhousemarker, and Doremarker.
A Sheffield Supertram
A popular light rail system, currently operated by Stagecoach Supertram opened in 1994. It's network consists of three lines, from Halfway to Malin Bridgemarker, from Meadowhall to Middlewoodmarker, and from Meadowhall to Herdings Park, with all three lines running via the city centre.

Sheffield's local bus infrastructure has its main hub at Sheffield Interchangemarker. Other bus stations lie at Halfwaymarker, Hillsboroughmarker and Meadowhall. A flurry of new operators were created after deregulation in 1986, though a series of mergers has reduced the number. First South Yorkshire, part of FirstGroup, became by far the largest bus operator and in recent years implemented a series of fare rises and service cuts which saw bus ridership drop. Recent developments have seen Stagecoach Sheffield taking over Yorkshire Terrier, Andrews and parent company Yorkshire Traction, thus forming one company and in the process expanding their bus services in the city. This has resulted in increased competition, and price drops on certain routes. A zero-fare bus service—the FreeBee—operates on a circular route around the city centre from the Sheffield Interchange.

In 2008, the Bus Rapid Transit Scheme between Sheffield and Rotherhammarker was approved by the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly's Regional Transport Board. There are plans for two routes; one (the Northern route) via Meadowhall and Templeboroughmarker, and the other via the developing employment centre and Waverley.

Although hilly, Sheffield is compact and has few major trunk roads running through it. It is on the Trans-Pennine Trailmarker, a National Cycle Network route running from Southportmarker in the north-west to Hornseamarker in the East Riding.


Sheffield F.C. in 1890
Sheffield has a long sporting heritage. In 1857 a collective of cricketers formed the world's first-ever official football club, Sheffield F.C., and by 1860 there were 15 football clubs in Sheffield, with the first ever amateur league and cup competitions taking place in the city. There are now three professional clubs in the Football League: Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday and Rotherham United. The two Sheffield clubs were formed from cricket clubs and play in the Football League Championship; Rotherham, who play in Football League Two, have recently moved to play at Sheffield's Don Valley Stadiummarker for the next 3–4 years following a dispute with their previous landlord at their traditional home ground of Millmoormarker, Rotherham. There are also two major non-league sides: Sheffield F.C. and Hallam F.C., which also formed from cricket clubs, although Sheffield F.C. now play just outside the city in nearby Dronfieldmarker. These are the two oldest club sides in the world and, in addition, Hallam F.C. still play at the world's oldest football groundmarker near the suburb of Crosspoolmarker. Sheffield and Hallam contest what has become known as the Sheffield derby, whilst United and Wednesday contest the Steel City derby.
Don Valley Stadium during the World Student Games in 1991

Many of Sheffield's sporting facilities were built for the World Student Games, which the city hosted in 1991. They include the Don Valley International Athletics Stadiummarker, the largest athletics stadium in the UK with a capacity of 25,000, Sheffield Arenamarker, and the Ponds Forgemarker international diving and swimming complex.
Ice Hockey at Sheffield Arena
There are also facilities for golf, climbing, and bowling, as well as a newly inaugurated (2003) national ice-skating arena (IceSheffieldmarker). The Sheffield Ski Villagemarker is the largest artificial ski resort in Europe. The city also has three indoor climbing centres. Sheffield was the UK's first National City of Sport and is now home to the English Institute of Sport (EIS).

Sheffield also has close ties with snooker, with the city's Crucible Theatremarker being the venue for the World Snooker Championships. The English squash open is also held in the city every year. The International Open and World Matchplay Championship bowls tournaments have both been held at Ponds Forgemarker. The city also hosts the Sheffield Eagles rugby league, Sheffield Tigers rugby union, Sheffield Sharks basketball, Sheffield University Bankers hockey, Sheffield Steelers ice hockey and Sheffield Tigers speedway teams.

Culture and attractions


Sheffield City Hall
Sheffield has been the home of several well-known bands and musicians, with an unusually large number of synth pop and other electronic outfits originating from the city. These include The Human League, Heaven 17, ABC, and the more industrially inclined Cabaret Voltaire. This electronic tradition has continued: techno label Warp Records was a central pillar of the Yorkshire Bleeps and Bass scene of the early 1990s, and has gone on to become one of Britain's oldest and best-loved dance music labels. There was a thriving goa trance scene in the early 1990s. More recently, other popular genres of electronic music such as bassline house have originated in the city. Sheffield is home to a number of high-profile nightclubs—Gatecrasher One was one of the most popular nightclubs in the north of England until its destruction by fire on 18 June 2007.
Sheffield Arena
Artists such as Pulp, Def Leppard, Joe Cocker, Richard Hawley, The Longpigs, Milburn, Moloko, and Bring Me the Horizon, along with many other popular and alternative musicians, were born in Sheffield. Recently several indie bands, including Arctic Monkeys and The Long Blondes, have emerged from the city as part of what the NME dubbed the New Yorkshire movement.

In 1999, the National Centre for Popular Musicmarker, a museum dedicated to the subject of popular music, was opened in the city. It was not as successful as was hoped, however, and later evolved to become a live music venue; then in February 2005, the unusual steel-covered building became the students' union for Sheffield Hallam Universitymarker. Live music venues in the city include the Harley Hotel, Leadmillmarker, West Street Live, the Boardwalkmarker, Dove & Rainbow, The Casbah, The Cremornemarker, Corporationmarker, New Barrack Tavern, The Runaway Girl, the City Hallmarker, the University of Sheffield, the Studio Theatre at the Crucible Theatremarker, the O2 Academy Sheffieldmarker, and The Grapes.

Sheffield is home to several local orchestras and choirs, such as the Sheffield Symphony Orchestra, the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra, and the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus.


The Lyceum and Crucible Theatres
Sheffield has two large theatres, the Lyceum Theatremarker and the Crucible Theatremarker, which together with the smaller Studio Theatre make up the largest theatre complex outside Londonmarker. There are four major art galleries, including the Millennium Galleriesmarker, which hosts the collection of the Guild of St George founded by John Ruskin, and visiting exhibitions from the Victoria and Albert Museummarker and Tatemarker collections. The Sheffield Walk of Fame in the City Centremarker honours famous Sheffield residents past and present in a similar way to the Hollywoodmarker version.

Sheffield Winter Gardens
The city also has a number of other attractions such as the Sheffield Winter Gardenmarker and the Peace Gardensmarker. The Botanical Gardensmarker recently underwent a £7 million restoration. There is also a city farm at Heeley City Farm and a second animal collection in Graves Park that is open to the public. The city also has several museums, including the Weston Park Museummarker, the Kelham Island Museummarker, the Sheffield Fire and Police Museummarker, Abbeydale Industrial Hamletmarker, and Shepherd Wheelmarker.

There are about 1,100 listed buildings in Sheffield (including the whole of the Sheffield postal districtmarker). Of these, only five are Grade I listed. Fifty-nine are Grade II*, but the overwhelming majority are listed as Grade II. Compared to other English cities, Sheffield has few buildoing with the highest Grade I listing—Liverpoolmarker, for example, has 26 Grade I listed buildings. This situation led the noted architecture historian Nikolaus Pevsner, writing in 1959, to comment that the city was "architecturally a miserable disappointment", with no pre-19th century buildings of any distinction. By contrast, in November 2007, Sheffield's Peace and Winter Gardens beat London's South Bank to gain the Royal Institute of British Architects' Academy of Urbanism "Great Place" Award, as an "outstanding example of how cities can be improved, to make urban spaces as attractive and accessible as possible".

Sheffield has many parks, including Millhouses Parkmarker, Endcliffe Parkmarker and Graves Parkmarker, the latter of which is the largest in the city.

Valley Centertainmentmarker is a large entertainment complex in the Don Valley. It was built on land previously occupied by steel mills near what is now Meadowhallmarker and the Sheffield Arenamarker. It is home to several restaurants, bars, cinema multiplex and bowling alley.

Media and film

Sheffield has two commercial newspapers, The Star and Sheffield Telegraph, both published by Johnston Press PLC. The Star has been published daily since 1897; the Sheffield Telegraph, now a weekly publication, originated in 1855. There are also three local radio stations broadcasting in the city: the BBC's Radio Sheffield, the independent Hallam FM, and its sister station Magic AM.

The films and plays The Full Monty, Threads, Looks and Smiles, When Saturday Comes, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? and The History Boys are set in the city. F.I.S.T. also included several scenes filmed in Sheffield. The documentary festival Sheffield Doc/Fest has been run annually since 1994 at the Showroom Cinemamarker, and in 2007 Sheffield hosted the Awards of the International Indian Film Academy.


Sheffield has two universities, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam Universitymarker. The two combined bring about 54,000 students to the city every year. Sheffield has two further education colleges. Sheffield Collegemarker is organised on a collegiate basis and was originally created from the merger of six colleges around the city, since reduced to just four: City (formerly Castle) in the city centre, Hillsborough, Crystal Peaks on the outskirts and Nortonmarker, each operating as semi-autonomous constituents of Sheffield College.

There are also 137 primary schools, 25 secondary schools—of which 7 have sixth forms—and a sixth-form college, Longley Park Sixth Form Collegemarker. The city's six independent private schools include Birkdale Schoolmarker and the Sheffield High Schoolmarker for Girls.

See also

References and notes

  1. The mid-2007 population estimate for the City of Sheffield was 530,300 according to the Office for National Statistics. This figure includes the whole area included in the city. Some population figures, for example those given at List of English cities by population use just the urban core of the city and are therefore lower.
  2. In an entry dated 827 the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states "Egbert led an army against the Northumbrians as far as Dore, where they met him, and offered terms of obedience and subjection, on the acceptance of which they returned home" ( transcription). Most sources (for example Vickers, Old Sheffield Town) state that the date given in the chronicle is incorrect, and that 829 is the more likely date for this event.
  3. Geoffrey Chaucer in The Reeve’s Tale from his book The Canterbury Tales wrote: "Ther was no man, for peril, dorste hym touche. A Sheffeld thwitel baar he in his hose. Round was his face, and camus was his nose"
  4. It is often stated that Sheffield is built on seven hills (for an example, see George Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier). However, a study by J.G.Harston found there to be eight.
  5. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2007.04.004
  6. It had largely died out by the time of the Survey of English Dialects.
  7. Data is taken from the ONS annual business inquiry employee analysis and refers to 2005
  8. There are numerous sources showing the international reputation of Sheffield for metallurgy, and in particular steel and cutlery manufacture. Some examples are: the Oxford English Dictionary, which begins its entry for Sheffield, "The name of a manufacturing city of Yorkshire, famous for cutlery"; and the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which in its entry for Sheffield states that by 1830 Sheffield had earned "recognition as the world centre of high-grade steel manufacture". David Hey in the preface to his 1997 book Mesters to Masters: A History of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. (Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-828997-9) states "It (Sheffield) was known for its cutlery wares long before the incorporation of the Cutlers' Company in 1624, and long before it acquired an international reputation as the steel capital of the world."
  9. Routes 53, 51, 29 and 49 respectively. See (Key to routes at )


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